Bader Philanthropies: Commits over $1.5 million to boost workforce development in Milwaukee

Contact:

Jeff Dardis, on behalf of Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Phone: 414-319-5700

[email protected]

Milwaukee – Bader Philanthropies, Inc., one of southeastern Wisconsin’s top five foundations, announced today its board of directors has approved $1,612,400 in funding to support local workforce development projects across 23 organizations. To date, Bader Philanthropies has given more than $25 million in workforce development related grants, making it one of the largest private funders of programs that advance collaborative models of successful workforce development for Milwaukee’s diverse unemployed population. In addition to funding Workforce Development programming, the board allocated over $8.1 million in support of various projects in Wisconsin, the U.S. and internationally that focus on Alzheimer’s and Aging, Community Partnerships for Youth, Arts and Education.

In October, the state Department of Workforce Development reported the unemployment rate in Wisconsin hit a 14-year low of 4.3 percent compared to 5.1 percent nationally. While this is seemingly good news, it doesn’t provide a complete picture of unemployment and labor market improvement, especially within the African-American community in Wisconsin and its largest city, Milwaukee. In March 2015, the Economic Policy Institute reported Wisconsin’s African-American unemployment rate is 19.9 percent, nearly three times higher than the highest state’s white unemployment rate and significantly higher than the national African-American unemployment rate of 11 percent.

“The fact that 1 in 5 African-American men in Wisconsin are unemployed is staggering,” said Jerry Roberts, program officer and manager of the Foundation’s efforts to address workforce development. “The Workforce Development projects that have been funded by the Foundation provide organizations in metro Milwaukee (home to 72 percent of the state’s working-age African-Americans) with the funds needed to meet the direct needs of the city’s unemployed and its employers.”

Projects supported by the Foundation include job preparation programs, skills training and hands-on work experiences for the unemployed, efforts to spur business and job creation in the community and research initiatives that lead to improved workforce development policies for Milwaukee’s unemployed.

Bader Philanthropies’ approach to addressing Milwaukee’s unemployment challenges is aimed at organizations building upon their workforce-focused efforts and investing in new approaches to reach the unemployed. The following three grants are a few of the latest examples of Bader Philanthropies lasting legacy to prepare job seekers for the workplace, connect organizations and businesses to job seekers and create opportunities for leaders throughout the community to rethink how we create a vibrant economy through systemic change.

Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance, Inc. (WFA), a consortium of private and public funders of workforce development in the Milwaukee region, located in the local Workforce Investment Board facility, is receiving a three-year $600,000 grant.

“Since 2008, WFA has been committed to challenging the disparate way in which funding for workforce development is allocated in the Milwaukee community.” said Roberts who also serves as WFA board president. This grant will support the grantee’s organizational development and capacity to continue its work to enhance workforce development systems in the Milwaukee area. The grant will also support the hiring of the organization’s first director and program assistant. WFA aims to strengthen and expand the region’s workforce system by leveraging local investments; building the capacity of the workforce system, both public and private; improving career advancement opportunities for low-level income individuals; helping employers get the skilled workers they need; and researching policies that sustain effective workforce partnerships.

Through the generous support from Bader Philanthropies and the aligned efforts of its members, “WFA will provide the continuity and cohesion needed to bring the workforce system together to affect system and policy change resulting in economic benefits for both employers and workers.” said Earl Buford, President/CEO of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.

Heartlove Place, Inc., enhances essential soft skills and job readiness of those who are hard to employ due to incarceration, limited education and other barriers to employment. Heartlove Place is receiving a two-year $60,000 grant from Bader Philanthropies to support the grantee’s ProStart Culinary and Job Readiness programs, which trains 80-100 low-income individuals in its location in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood, an area with some of the highest unemployment rates in the city.

With a focus on meeting the needs of the community, this 14-week culinary arts and job readiness program for adults 18 and older prepares participants to obtain entry-level careers in the food services and hospitality industry.

Upon successful completion of the Prostart program, participants are awarded the ProStart Certification, a nationally recognized food-handling certification. Since its start in 2002, Prostart has graduated over 800 people, helping place 46 percent in industry-related jobs. Other graduates have gone on to open their own companies, advance further into education and take positions in other industries.

“The goals of the ProStart program are consistent with its mission to build stronger individuals, families, and communities through comprehensive educational and social programming,” said Viola Rembert,” executive director for HeartLove Place. “With support from Bader Philanthropies we can continue to make an impact in the community by providing services and programming as well as employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for Milwaukee’s low-income population.”

Meta House, Inc., which ends the generational cycle of addiction by healing women and strengthening families, is receiving a two-year $80,000 grant from Bader Philanthropies. The Grant will support the organization’s Setting the Stage for Financial Independence initiative for women who are struggling to overcome drug and alcohol addiction in Milwaukee’s central city. Overcoming substance abuse is the first step; gaining skills and obtaining employment will then set the foundation for long-term stability. The project will provide Meta House clients with access to the technology they need to compete in today’s job market and lead stable lives in recovery.

“Meta House recognizes the significance that education and vocational ability have on self-sufficiency, financial freedom and self-esteem,” said Amy Lindner, president and CEO for Meta House. “We’re fortunate to have Bader Philanthropies share our mission to ensure that each of our clients has an increased sense of self-worth and has the necessary tools available to reduce the risk of a relapse and become a productive, contributing member of society.”

About Bader Philanthropies, Inc.

Formerly the Helen Bader Foundation, Milwaukee-based Bader Philanthropies, Inc. is a top five philanthropic leader in southeastern Wisconsin committed to improving the quality of life of the diverse communities in which it works. Through the Helen Daniels Bader Fund and the Isabel and Alfred Bader Fund, the organization supports innovative projects and programs through grants, convening partners, and sharing knowledge to affect emerging issues in key areas. Since its founding in 1992, the Helen Bader Foundation committed more than $250 million in grants and program-related investments, such as loans and equity investments that advance its charitable mission. For more information on Bader Philanthropies, visit http://www.bader.org.

Bader Philanthropies, Inc.
Workforce Development-Related Grants

(Fall 2015)

9 to 5 National Association of Working Women, Inc. received a two-year $20,000 grant for the Ban the Box program initiative in the City of Milwaukee, which seeks to remove barriers to employment for those who have been previously incarcerated.

ArtWorks For Milwaukee, Inc. received a two-year $80,000 grant for its internship program for Milwaukee youth who face various barriers to successfully entering the workforce. ArtWorks targets three primary groups: teens who underperform in high school, teens with disabilities, and teens who lack access to community connections.

ArtWorks For Milwaukee, Inc. received a $100,000 grant to support the Still Water Collective (SWC) Fellows Program.

Association of Black Foundation Executives received a $31,100 grant to support its racial equity training for Milwaukee philanthropic leaders, nonprofits and other community stakeholders.

Grand Avenue Club, Inc. received a $50,000 grant for its employment program, which offers vocational opportunities, customized career plans, and support services to help Milwaukee residents who have experienced mental illness as they move into the paid labor force.

Heartlove Place, Inc. received a two-year $60,000 grant for its ProStart Culinary and Job Readiness program, which trains 80-100 low-income individuals in its location in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood, an area with some of the highest unemployment rates in the city.

Infallible Helping Hands Inc. received a $10,000 grant for its re-entry from incarceration program for female Milwaukee residents.

Journey House, Inc. received a $10,000 grant for the Urban Careers Institute (UCI), which provides job readiness, financial training, and job placement to low-income residents on Milwaukee’s near south side.

Meta House, Inc. received a two-year $80,000 grant to support the Setting the Stage for Financial Independence initiative for women struggling to overcome drug and alcohol addiction in Milwaukee’s central city.

Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance, Inc. received a three-year $600,000 grant to support organizational development and capacity building to continue its work to enhance workforce development systems in the Milwaukee area. Grant funds will support staffing and administration.

Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, Inc. received a $50,000 grant to increase its research, data collection and communications for workforce development programming in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Center for Independence, Inc. received a $25,000 grant to support its commercial kitchen at the Innovation and Wellness Commons in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood.

Northwest Side Community Development Corporation received a $30,000 grant to support its efforts to employ low-income, unemployed residents of Milwaukee’s Garden Homes neighborhood.

Operation DREAM, Inc. received a two-year $80,000 grant for its Operation WORK program, a hands-on, incentive-based education, mentoring, and job training program for African American males, ages 11-17, who reside in Milwaukee’s central city.

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, Inc. received a $20,000 grant to support staffing from surrounding neighborhoods, at its new intergenerational care facility in Milwaukee’s central city.

STEM Forward, Inc. received a $7,500 grant to support its efforts to create replicable partnerships between three Milwaukee Public Schools and local businesses to further science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs.

The Cathedral Center, Inc. received a $50,000 grant to support its Workforce Development Initiative to help women and families facing homelessness or housing crises regain employment and secure income to stabilize their lives.

Uniting Garden Homes, Inc. received a $75,000 grant to support its capacity building effort, which will continue its job placement and training initiative in a high-unemployment Milwaukee neighborhood.

Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin, Inc. received a $20,000 grant to support its continued efforts to strengthen the City of Milwaukee and its residents with a focus on workforce development, job creation, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

WE GROW GREENS INC. received a $10,000 grant for its internship program for high school students in the City of Milwaukee, with the goal of gaining employment skills and self-awareness.

Wisconsin Philanthropy Network, Inc. received a $143,800 grant to provide executive education for nonprofit organizations serving youth, aging, workforce development and the arts.

Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation received a $15,000 grant to support its annual banquet recognizing those facing barriers in accessing traditional financing or resources.

Wiscraft, Inc. received a $20,000 grant for its jobs training and accessibility program, which provides employment opportunities for individuals who are visually impaired.

Young Women’s Christian Association Southeast Wisconsin, Inc. received a $25,000 grant for its Community Readiness Summit designed to engage employers on new solutions to employ low and unskilled jobseekers in the city of Milwaukee.